Italian Butter Bean Salad

efreshing…what picture does that evoke in your mind?  A nice cool shower after a workout?  A plunge in the pool on a hot day?  How about a burst of flavor and nourishment on your tongue?

Refreshing was the comment I received when I served this salad at the open house for our new radio station, KNCP 107.3 in Lapine, Oregon…yes, we are now on 2 count them 2 stations in Central Oregon every Tuesday night at 5pm…better than that we are everywhere in the world live streaming on line at www.kitcfm.com/live.  Join us!

Back to the salad.  When I am at the grocery store I often wander by the “olive bar” and there on the bar is a big bowl of butter bean goodness wrapped in a blanket of Italian flavors…all for only NINE DOLLARS A POUND – are you kidding me?  For Butter Beans, an olive or two and maybe one or two artichoke hearts?

My love for this salad and my refusal to pay such an exorbitant price drove me to create my own version…which is quite…Refreshing!

What makes it refreshing?  A light lemony dressing and lots of fresh herbs!  By the way the herbs help to digest the beans which means less gas…always a nice thing, right?  Especially in a group.

I served it on a bed of baby spinach tossed in a little lemon juice and avocado oil.  One recipe serves about 4 people.  If you are serving it to folks who are a little skeptical of healthy foods add some colored gluten free pasta spirals (they look prettier) – about 1 cup – then they won’t freak out and think you are trying to trick them into eating health food.

Refreshing Italian Butter Bean Salad

A refreshing vegan protein for a healthy salad.
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Pinot Grigo Vinegar I like Luccini's
  • 1-2 teaspoons raw local honey
  • 6 tablespoons Healthy Oil Avocado or grapeseed
  • 1 clove largefresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1Celtic Sea Salt
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 can organic butter beans
  • 1/2 box organic cherry tomatoes (if you use regular tomato take out the seeds
  • 5 in artichoke hearts (I like the Costco brand packed water)
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 1 cup small broccoli spears bite sized
  • Any crunchy veggies celery, peppers, etc
  • 1/4 cup fresh Flat Italian Parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Basil chopped
  • Capers would be really good and so would a few Kalamata olives...just a few. Optional
  • Gluten Free pasta spirals Optional I like the Tinkyada colored ones...pretty

Instructions

  • For the dressing combine the first 8 ingredients and blend all with your magic bullet or immersion blender, set aside
  • Best when allowed to marinade for at least an hour up to 24 hours
  • Prepare the dressing, set aside.
  • Combine all the veggies and herbs in a large bowl. Stir well.
  • Add beans, stir gently a couple of times to be sure they are mixed in.
  • The flavors blend best when the oil is not solidified so if you are serving that day, just cover the salad and allow to marinade on the counter not in the fridge. Stir gently before serving.
  • If you are serving the next day refrigerate and stir prior to serving.
  • Serve over nice crisp greens that have been tossed in a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of a healthy oil such as avocado, grape seed or a high quality olive oil.

Notes

Health Benefits of this salad:
The Beans are a perfect blend of fiber, protein and carbohydrate.  They are a high magnesium food, which as you've heard me say before is a VITAL mineral.  Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker, it causes the veins and arteries to relax which improves blood flow, oxygen to your brain (good idea) and distributes nutrients.  Lack of magnesium can cause all kinds of health problems, in fact, if you have a heart attack and low magnesium at the same time you will likely suffer extensive heart damage.
Butter Beans are also the rock star of the essential mineral molybdenum, which naturally detoxifies sulfites...something you can get a lot of if you eat processed foods.
The great fiber in Butter Beans helps digestive disorders such as IBS.
If you have a hard time digesting beans, please be sure to take a digestive enzyme or two and you may want to consider adding some Betain HCL, which helps to digest proteins.
Of course all the veggies add tons of nutrition; especially the herbs.  Enjoy!

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